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Explore how Dickens mocks Mr Gradgrind and his world in the first three chapters of Hard Times.

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Introduction

Explore how Dickens mocks Mr Gradgrind and his world in the first three chapters of Hard Times. Dickens mocks Mr Gradgrind through his speeches and his obsession with facts. Gradgrind is described as a "square wall of a forehead" this is showing how he needs everything to be perfect and ruled off, just like his house which is the same. "his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves" dickens even uses this as a way to ridicule Gradgrind by say his eyes are spacious, where most people light up with enthusiasm and excitement but Gradgrind could not because he is just filled with facts and has had no imagination. In the second paragraph of the novel dickens keeps on saying "the emphasis was helped" he does this to show how ridiculous Gradgrind is when he keeps on insisting on facts. When Dickens is describing Gradgrinds hair he says "which bristled on the skirts of his bald head" Dickens has made the reader believe that he is full of facts and straight-ruled like his garden but his hair shows he is not by the way it bristles. ...read more.

Middle

Gradgrind looks over the audience for someone else to make Sissy look bad, he notices Bitzer in the same ray of light that he caught sight of Sissy in and pointed at him with his square finger. Gradgrind knew Bitzer by name and not number showing he must know through good, factual academic work. Gradgrind asked Bitzer for the definition of a horse and his reply was "Quadruped. Graminiverous. Forty teeth........" this was just the start of an extensive description of a horse. Bitzer got praised for this although he did not know what most words meant. This is showing how poor Gradgrinds idea of education was. Gradgrinds school room reflects a lot about his appearance being dull and his mind needing everything perfect. The school room is described a "plain, bear, monotonous, vault of a school room". This is showing how, everything must be ruled straight and have no curves or irregular lines, which could lead to the use of an imagination. The pupils are taught just facts because if they are taught to use their imagination they may not want to work in the factories or mills, putting Mr Gradgrind out of a job. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mr Choakumchild is portrayed exactly like Gradgrind in the school room so you can learn more about Gradgrind through him. "Had lately been turned, at the same time, in the same factory" is relating it back to the schools teaching the children to work in factories and how every thing is the same and regular. In the first three chapters everything has been regular from the school room to the house and back to Gradgrind. Choakumchild has learnt a lot of decrease and facts like Gradgrind. Dickens says "If he had only learnt a little less, how infinitely better he might have taught much more." Shows that even the teachers have not learnt what the facts meant but just what they are all to please Gradgrind. Dickens also implies that if Gradgrind had taken time to learn the meaning of the facts then he may have been a better person. All in all Dickens mainly mocks Gradgrind about his over use of facts; Gradgrind may do this to cover up his childhood. In his childhood he may like Bounderby, have had a tough life but unlike Bounderby, he is not proud of it but ashamed. By Jack Realey ...read more.

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